A man accused of fatally stabbing a 63-year-old acquaintance outside a Hemet business pleaded not guilty Friday, Sept. 4 to a murder charge.
Hyder Mahdi Jaffer, 51, of Hemet is accused in the Dec. 30 slaying of Inder Jit of Winchester.
Along with the murder count, he faces with a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.
Jaffer was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Oct. 16 at the Banning Justice Center.
The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to Hemet police Lt. Jeff Davis, there was an unspecified confrontation between Jaffer and Jit as the latter sat in his vehicle in front of a business in the 1300 block of East Oakland Avenue, near San Jacinto Avenue.
The conflict culminated in Jaffer stabbing the victim in the chest, investigators allege. Jit was discovered by passersby, who called 911.
Patrol officers and paramedics arrived within a few minutes, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jaffer was immediately identified as a person of interest, and detectives spoke to him soon after the stabbing. However, he was not immediately arrested.
Davis said the investigative team ultimately gathered sufficient evidence to submit a request for charges to the District Attorney’s Office, and a criminal complaint was filed on Feb. 18, after which Jaffer was taken into custody.
A possible motive was not disclosed, nor were any details about the relationship between the two men, other than that they knew one another.
The defendant has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.
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